Free afterschool program to host first in-person winter concert

Herald file photo. Firebird North students take part in a class on orchestral music. The free after-school music program has their first winter concert scheduled for Friday at King George School.

For the first time since it began accepting students, the Firebird North Sistema Music Project will be on stage for Christmas.

The organization’s inaugural live Firebird Family Holiday Jubilee will take place Friday at the King George School gym. Students were able to perform at a virtual winter concert in 2021, but program coordinator Abraham Lancaster said there’s something special about being able to perform in front of an audience.

“This is our first Christmas concert in normal conditions, given the climate of the current world,” Lancaster explained. “The students are very excited to be presenting what they’ve worked on with everyone.”

Firebird North began accepting students into their free after-school program in 2019. There was no winter concert that year, and COVID-19 forced the school to cancel live performances in 2020 and 2021.

Lancaster said the last two years have been challenging for instructors, but the students have worked hard to overcome any setbacks.

“Our group has been just exceptional in buckling down and putting their best foot forward to accomplish some of these things,” he said. “They do a lot of stuff in this program, and this group seems to be very dedicated.”

Friday’s performance will include a variety of Christmas classics from the disciplines of song, dance, and orchestral music. Performers are between the ages of eight and 13, and all come from schools in Prince Albert.

“(Performing) really gives students a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging,” Lancaster said. “(It’s) a positive outlet within our own community to share creativity and share outlets for the artistic disciplines.”

The Firebird Family Holiday Jubilee begins at 4 p.m. on Friday. There will be a silver collection at the door and an informal reception to follow.

The Firebird program runs from mid-September to mid-May from 3 p.m. until 5:15 p.m. every school day. Students have a chance to learn Yoga, dance, orchestral, or choral music. The program is free to participate in.